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France warns Sri Lanka on cease-fire, human rights

PARIS, Jan 5 (KUNA) -- France has officially warned Sri Lanka about the impact of its decision to break-off an almost six-year old cease fire on the island and also urged Colombo to improve its human rights performance, government sources said here.
French Junior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights, Rama Yade, late on Friday received Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Sri Lankan Minister for Human Rights and Natural Disasters for talks and told him of France's dissatisfaction with Sri Lanka in the above areas.
"Madame Rama Yade expressed France's regrets faced with the rupture of the cease-fire signed in 2002 (with Tamil rebels). She recalled it was more than ever time for dialogue and a political solution, the only option capable of guaranteeing a fair and lasting peace in Sri Lanka," a Foreign Ministry statement said.
Yade also expressed French "concern" over the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and "called for increased cooperation by the Sri Lankan authorities with the mechanism of the United Nations." In particular, the statement added, the French official said that Sri Lanka, because of its democratic character, must carry out the fight against terrorism with full "respect for internationally-recognized norms in this area and relative to the principles of a state of laws." France also called upon the Sri Lankan authorities to shed light on the murky circumstances surrounding the murder of seventeen humanitarian workers from "Action against Hunger," who were murdered in 2006. (end) jk.ema KUNA 050900 Jan 08NNNN